The purpose of the Articles of Confederation was to create a confederation of states whereby each state retained "its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right . . . not . . . expressly delegated to the United States in Congress assembled." In other words, every state was as independent as possible with the United States only responsible for the common defense, security of liberties, and the general welfare. To this effect, the Articles were purposely written to keep the national government as weak as possible. However, there were many problems that soon became apparent as the Articles took effect.
Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation
Following is a list of the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation:
Each state only had one vote in Congress, regardless of size.
Congress did not have the power to tax.
Congress did not have the power to regulate foreign and interstate commerce.
There was no executive branch to enforce any acts passed by Congress.
There was no national court system.
Amendments to the Articles of Confederation required a unanimous vote.
Laws required a 9/13 majority to pass in Congress.
Under the Articles of Confederation, states often argued amongst themselves. They also refused to financially support the national government. The national government was powerless to enforce any acts it did pass. Some states began making agreements with foreign governments. Most had their own military. Each state printed its own money. There was no stable economy. (Kelly, 2014)
Basically, the Articles of Confederation showed the government as unstable and weak with basically few laws and no court systems to settle issues within states or collect monies or taxes. No real leadership was established since there was no chief executive in charge and congress does not have the power or authority to do much.
Martin Kelly. (2014). Why did the Articles of Confederation fail? In About.com American...